Preston comeback stuns Addicks
Mellor and Nicholson on target in 2-1 win
Last Updated: August 30, 2008 6:23pm
Mellor and Nicholson: Preston heroes
Preston came from behind to beat Charlton 2-1 at Deepdale and climb to second in the Championship table.
Andy Gray put Charlton ahead from the penalty spot in the first half but Neil Mellor equalised after the break and Barry Nicholson grabbed the winner on 66 minutes.
The hosts created the first chance of the game after three minutes, but Charlton goalkeeper Nicky Weaver reacted well to tip Richard Chaplow's 18-yard strike around the post.
Gray then saw a close-range header cleared by Youl Mawene, but it was Preston who remained on top, with Nicholson and new loan signing Jon Parkin both forcing excellent blocks from the Charlton defence.
The visitors then took the lead against the run of play after 19 minutes, following an error by Mawene.
The former Derby centre-back got himself into a tangle before bringing down Luke Varney in the box, and referee Clive Oliver had no hesitation in awarding a penalty which Gray coolly slotted past Andy Lonergan.
Nicholson and Mellor both saw headers saved by Weaver, while Parkin also fired over from 20 yards as Preston tried to get back on level terms.
The home side almost grabbed an equaliser with four minutes of the half remaining, but Sean St Ledger's 12-yard strike cannoned back off the post with Weaver beaten.
Preston started the second half in the same way they had ended the first, with Parkin seeing yet another shot blocked by Jonathan Fortune.
After 52 minutes, Parkin had a further chance to level the scores, but his header was comfortably saved by the outstanding Weaver, who then pulled off a magnificent save from Mellor's 25-yard shot.
Preston were eventually rewarded for their dominance after 58 minutes, as Mellor lashed the ball home from six yards following Chris Sedgwick's left-wing cross.
Charlton responded with an attack of their own, and Lonergan had to be alert to tip Mark Hudson's header over the bar.
However, Preston doubled their lead shortly afterwards, as Nicholson capitalised on a rare moment of hesitation from the Charlton defence and poked home from close range.
Varney wasted a glorious chance to bring Charlton level after 72 minutes when he fired over the bar from six yards, but from that moment on Preston were rarely troubled, and they held on with relative comfort to maintain their unbeaten start to the Championship season.
Sky Bet Championship
Sat 30th Aug
Southampton0 - 1Blackpool
Sheff Utd0 - 0Cardiff
Swansea1 - 1Sheff Wed
Bristol C1 - 1QPR
Barnsley2 - 0Derby
Burnley0 - 0Plymouth
Norwich1 - 1Birmingham
Wolves5 - 1N Forest
Reading4 - 2C Palace
Doncaster1 - 0Coventry
Preston2 - 1Charlton
Watford2 - 1Ipswich
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||18||38|
|11||Brighton and Hove Albion||18||25|